Federal Way Link light rail extension delayed until 2026

May 31, 2023, 4:03 PM | Updated: Jun 1, 2023, 12:37 pm

Federal Way light rail...

A light rail train. (Photo courtesy of Sound Transit/Twitter)

(Photo courtesy of Sound Transit/Twitter)

Federal Way can’t catch a break from Sound Transit. Link light rail service will be delayed another year.

The Federal Way Link light rail extension is 70% done according to Sound Transit. However, future passengers have to wait until 2026 to ride it.

Contractors will now have to build a 500-foot-long bridge over unstable soil. The original plan was to build flat rail tracks, but due to the recent discovery, there was concern that one seismic event could have disrupted the rail.

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell says Sound Transit DID study the soil before construction but failed to find anything wrong until recently.

“They [Sound Transit] were required to do it before,” Ferrell said. “Then I think that it was so heavily wooded in that area, that it wasn’t really till they got a lot of those trees out. And they really kind of figured out what they had with the trees gone.”

We pressed harder about the setback and Ferrell said, “Nobody likes delays. But for something this critical, they’ve got to get it right. You know my comparison is when I’m getting on a plane, or if I’m on a plane, and they’re saying, well, we gotta do some work for security, you know, for the safety of the plane. My attitude is, take your time, get it right.”

Getting it right means the Sea-Tac to Federal Way Link light rail won’t be operational until 2026, which is a two-year setback.

Not one business or resident has complained to the mayor’s office about the delay, according to Ferrell.

“Not one. I watch this very carefully. I’m out in the community. We had a community meeting, I’m in the community every day. I haven’t had one person express concern.”

Ferrell thinks it says something about Sound Transit, that they’ve got the engineers to be able to do this.

From 2021: Sound Transit Board fracturing over ST-3 budget delays

Commute times during peak traffic have increased since Amazon workers went back to the office and if there’s a crash on northbound Interstate 5, driving from Federal Way to Seattle can take well over an hour. But Ferrell says the new Link light rail service will be worth the wait.

“Well, this is going to increase 30,000 people per day in our downtown. So they’re excited. They know, you know, the businesses I talked to, this is gonna be transformational. And this represents billions of dollars of investment.”

Tell us what you think of Mayor Ferrell’s position or if you’re a business owner. Are you cool with the two year delay to the Federal Way Link light rail extension?

The State Roofing text line is 888-973-5476 or email us at feedback@mynorthwest.com.

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Federal Way Link light rail extension delayed until 2026